Except for those who have visited Dog Bark Park, few know that an oversized red fire hydrant stands near the World’s Biggest Beagle. Of course a giant dog needs a giant fire hydrant! At 11 feet tall & painted fire engine red, the hydrant is hard to miss. It is as popular a backdrop for photographs as the big beagle. Not to be solely ornamental in purpose, during the summer months many are relieved to discover the hydrant is a comfort station serving human roadside travelers with an enclosed restroom inside its walls. Like the big beagle, we designed & built the hydrant ourselves. During research about hydrant designs we came across a fascinating book that pays tribute to the variety of sizes, shapes & colors of America’s fire hydrants. With artistic photography & concise prose, the book, American Hydrant by Sean Crane, 2004, elevates the lowly fire hydrant from basic necessity to an object that interestingly melds form & function.
Rather than being an exact replica of a particular design, the Dog Bark Park fire hydrant is a composite of several well-recognized hydrant shapes. It is constructed of steel reinforced concrete stucco & painted the customary fire engine red color. During winter, the hydrant is used for lawn/garden equipment storage. In December, an 8-foot tall Santa stands in the doorway waving holiday greetings to all.
Already circulating in our minds is the creation of a concrete version of the fireman’s dog, a Dalmatian, to be permanently on display near the fire hydrant. Seems fitting doesn’t it?